Easy to use, productive, economical! grow bags are geotextile garden pots that allow you to grow anything, anywhere, easily and at low cost. Lightweight, durable and unbreakable, they are available in many sizes (from a few liters to several hundred).
However, grow bags also have one drawback: they require more water, often much more watering.
Despite this small complication, many planter boxes really like them and note an increased yield.
Does it really need to be cleaned
In fact, no, it is not always necessary to clean them, at least not in most cases and certainly not every year. Yes, dirt and stains can appear on the outside of these pots, but this is somewhat normal in the context of pots filled with potting soil.
So, a little dirt or discoloration on the outside of a pot doesn’t really mean much. And since grow bags are usually used for growing useful plants, such as vegetables, their appearance is not as important as it is for ornamental plants, where the appearance of the pot can be very important.
If a dirty exterior really bothers you, simply use a soft bristle brush to lightly scrub the outside of the pot each spring. This will usually remove any annoying dirt.
How to clean a grow bag (6 steps)
- Empty the potting soil and allow the pot to dry.
- Gently brush the exterior with a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and stains.
- To remove as much of the soil and dried roots that attach to the sometimes inside, press the sides of the pot together and rub them together, which will loosen most of them. Then, invert the pot to empty it of the waste thus released or clean the inside with a vacuum cleaner.
- To disinfect the pot and kill any microbes that may harm plants, wash the pot either in the washing machine (the most effective and easiest method) or by hand in a bucket or tub. Use a laundry detergent that includes a non-chlorinated bleach or stain remover such as OxiClean to remove the worst stains while sterilizing the pot.
- The washing machine includes a cycle that will automatically rinse the jar, but if you wash it by hand, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.
- Allow to air dry. Do not put the jar in a dryer.
Your jar will then be clean and free of disease. You can either store it, folded, until the next season if you cleaned it in the fall, or reuse it immediately if you cleaned it at the beginning of the gardening season.
Does it have to be emptied annually
Many planter boxes seem to believe that these grow bags should be emptied every fall and refilled with fresh potting soil every spring, but no. You can leave grow bags full of soil all winter, store them outdoors or in a garage or shed, and then reuse them with the same “old potting soil” the next season.
You may need to add a little extra fresh topsoil, compost or manure each spring, as topsoil decomposes over time and decreases in volume. You can use the same potting soil for several years – 4, 5, sometimes 6 – until you see the plants start to grow less well.
Knowing when to replace topsoil
When you see the following symptoms, it’s probably time to empty the pot of its old potting soil and clean it out.
The appearance of white spots on the outside of the grow bag, especially a problem in arid climates or where tap water is very hard, can mean that the potting soil is becoming increasingly contaminated with mineral salts, which will negatively affect plant growth.
The growth of algae or moss outdoors usually means either that you are watering too much or that the soil has become seriously compacted over time and air is no longer circulating. This means that the pot no longer “breathes” as it should, so it’s time to empty and clean it.
Some soil-borne diseases accumulate in a potting soil over time. This is the case with Fusarium, Verticillium, Sclerotinia and various root rots. Potting soil can even become infested with harmful nematodes* (especially a problem in mild climates).
Diseases can accumulate over time and significantly reduce yields. If you don’t rotate crops as you should, and so grow tomatoes over and over again in the same potting soil, for example, this can become a problem.
grow bag are reusable pots, durable over time, perfect around your home, office, business, restaurant… We explain in this article how to clean it.
In the first step, use a brush and a little water. For more stubborn stains, you can think of using Oxyboost 12% for example or another stain remover.
For a thorough cleaning after an illness, you can wash the grow bags in the washing machine. It is even recommended for a perfect cleaning of your grow bag.